The Nephite Kingdom

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet
Nephi had been appointed as king by the voice of the people nearly half a century earlier (see 2 Nephi 5:18; 2 Nephi 6:2). Now, as this great spiritual leader approached the end of his mortal ministry, he chose another to reign in his stead. The people, being desirous to retain his name in remembrance, established a Nephite monarchy, such that subsequent kings would be known by the dynastic title of Second Nephi, Third Nephi, and so on, much like the system used by the Egyptians and the Romans with their Pharaohs and Caesars. The Nephite monarchy continued for almost 500 years, after which a system of judges was established (see Mosiah 29).

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2